Red Sox send Drew to DL, demote Bard

Boston Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew will miss at least the first few games of the upcoming regular season after being placed on the seven-day disabled list for players with concussions on Thursday.

Drew has not appeared in a spring training game since being hit in the head with a pitch in a Grapefruit League matchup against Minnesota on March 7. Although the offseason acquisition has resumed taking part in baseball-related activities, he has yet to be cleared for game action.

The move was made retroactive to Wednesday, meaning Drew would be eligible to return for Boston's second game of the regular season on April 3 at the earliest.

Jose Iglesias is expected to fill in at shortstop during the interim.

In other team news, struggling reliever Daniel Bard was optioned to Double-A Portland in an effort to get a once-promising career back on track. The hard- throwing righty posted a 6.75 earned run average this spring and was tagged for three runs during a one-inning stint on Wednesday.

Bard was one of the game's top setup men during the 2010 and '11 seasons, but slumped to a 6.22 ERA last year following a failed attempt to convert to a starter.

Boston also optioned first baseman Mauro Gomez and infielder Brock Holt to Triple-A Pawtucket.